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Coronavirus pandemic and variant Omicron

A nurse cares for a patient in the intensive care unit of a hospital in Palma, Spain on Monday.
A nurse cares for a patient in the intensive care unit of a hospital in Palma, Spain on Monday. (Clara Margais / image alliance / Getty Images)

The United States and several European countries broke their Covid-19 case records on Tuesday as the highly transmissible variant of Omicron spread around the world.

America: The country hit a seven-day average of 254,496 new cases – the highest number ever for the duration of the pandemic – according to data from Johns Hopkins University, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. . This beat the previous record of 251,989 new infections, set on January 11, 2021. Hospitalizations and deaths are not at the same rate of increase but these are possible lagging indicators. leading to an increase in cases for many weeks.

However, the number of hospitalizations of pediatric Covid-19 patients nationwide is nearing a record high set in September. On average, about 305 children was hospitalized with Covid-19 on any day of the week ending December 26, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Department of Health and Human Services.

France: Authorities reported a record high of 179,807 new confirmed cases in a 24-hour period on Tuesday. Despite the increase in hospital admissions and ICU occupancy rates, the French data show fewer deaths. In the past 24 hours, France recorded 290 deaths related to Covid-19, 484 people were hospitalized and 83 people were in ICU beds. A year ago, the country recorded 363 deaths, 25 hospitalizations and 44 people in intensive care.

UK: On Tuesday, the country again broke its Covid-19 case record with 129,471 new infections, according to official data. Hospitalization rates for Covid-19 in the UK have increased by 25% within a week but the government says there will be no further restrictions there before the new year.

On Wednesday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the Omicron variant is milder than the Delta strain but “continues to cause real problems”, and urged the public to get vaccinated or boosted if eligible to avoid hospitalisation. .

Spain: The country’s Health Ministry reported 99,671 new cases on Tuesday, the highest number in a single day since the start of the pandemic. It is double the previous record, set last week.

Italy: Italy also reported the highest number of new daily cases since the start of the pandemic, with 78,313 infections recorded on Tuesday. It also has lower figures for hospitalizations and deaths when compared to figures from 2020. During the same period last year, Italy recorded 8,585 new infections, 445 Covid-19-related deaths and 2,565 intensive care beds. On Tuesday, it reported 202 deaths and 1,145 ICU occupancy.

Portugal: Portugal has also recorded its highest number of new daily cases ever, with a total of 17,172 new coronavirus infections, the country’s health ministry said on Tuesday.

Despite the increase in cases, authorities saw a 70% drop in deaths, hospitalizations and ICU admissions over the Christmas period compared with the previous year. Between December 20 and 27, 2021, there were 14 deaths and 151 ICU admissions, according to health authority data. There were 68 deaths and 506 ICU admissions during the same period in 2020.

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